IceMegaMenu Module

HISTORY AND PICTURES OF SAMARAI ISLAND

Name of Property: Samarai Island (once known as "The Pearl of the Pacific")

Province: Milne Bay Province

Can still be seen as the monument of PNG Colonial Administration, as well as for trade and commerce.

Site Description:

Samarai Island, with land area 0.1208 square mile, was the first administrative and commercial centre for Papua Administration during the height of European expansion and colonialism in The Pacific.

The Island is relatively smaller, but still contains some of the buildings established during the colonial era including the Memorial Hall, District Commissioner's resident, Old Steamship and Burns Philips' buildings and the Government Wharf.

Notable Event:

In 1940, Sir Hubert Murray (Lieutenant Governor of Papua) died on Samarai Island. After his death--in 1941 and at the peak of the World War 11 in 1941--the Japanese bombed the Island forcing people to move out of the Island in 1942 in fear of the Japanese invasion. The wharf was heavily destroyed by the bombing, and was re-built in 1951.

In 1968, the District Headquarters was then transferred from Samarai to Alotau.

Samarai Island Declared as PNG's National Heritage Island:

* Recent meeting of the National Executive Council held in Alotau in February 2006 declared Samarai Island the National Heritage Island.

* Pledge by the NEC and CACC to source funding to renovate and re-furnish the rundown infrastructure and building as National Monuments including the old Memorial Hall, District Commissioner's residence and other buildings.

Historic Land Marks and Features on Samarai Island:

(1) Memorial Hall on Samarai Island
(2) Old Buildings in Samarai, Including the Anglican Church Building
(3) Old Assembly Hall
(4) Old Government Wharf
(5) Old Steamship Workers' Quarter
(6) Old Storage Sheds and Government Wharf

Justification for Outstanding Universal Value:

Criteria met: II & III.

* Important Colonial Trade and Commercial Centre, serving the Papua New Guineans and the European powers, bear exceptional testamony of ruin European Colonialism Settlement in The Pacific and serving as First Administration Centre for Papua other than Port Moresby.

Justification for Outstanding Universal Value (cont):

* Theoretically, I can maintain that Samarai Island can be regarded as one of the important cultural heritage sites of PNG. The Island cultural heritage exhibit an important interchange of values during the colonial era of European Administration in Papua New Guinea. It can also be seen as the monument of PNG colonial administration, as well as for trade and commerce.

Conclusion and Remark:

* Samarai Island is the only remaining masterpiece of early European settlement in PNG still containing the remnant of buildings established after the PNG gain its independence, compared to other sites within PNG itself.

* Port Moresby, for example, which was established during the Colonial era--the settlement next to Samarai--have lost all its building while Samarai still capture the ruin of the early European settlement.

* The recent NEC Meeting in Alotau declares Samarai Island as a National Heritage Island, and the CACC visit to the Island pledging funding support to renovate the monumental Colonial establishment on the Island, clearly support the cause of Samarai Island to be placed under the Tentative List of the World Heritage Site.

vpnghelpgroup.org.au - Getting the rural Papua New Guinea people to work for themselves and their community to build that self reliance in Nation Building for tomorrow.